SAGE Journal Articles

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Journal Article 1:

Citation: Welsh, B. C., & Greenwood, P. W. (2014). Making it happen: State progress in implementing evidence-based programs for delinquent youth. Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice, 13(3), 243–257.

Abstract: This article explores the progress that state governments across the country are making in implementing the three most widely used evidence-based programs (EBPs) for delinquent youth: multisystemic therapy (MST), functional family therapy (FFT), and multidimensional treatment foster care (MTFC). Rather than rank states, this study was designed to help state policy makers and practitioners identify strategies and techniques that can help expand the quality and availability of EBPs in their jurisdictions. Its explicit focus on implementation was purposeful. Most states are not yet in a position to begin to assess if their expenditures on these programs are having an impact (or at least an impact statewide) on juvenile recidivism, placements in residential facilities, or other key outcomes. We found that there are five states that are making substantially greater progress in implementing these EBPs: New Mexico, Louisiana, Maine, Connecticut, and Hawaii. In addition to the highest availability of these programs, ranging from 9.4 to 13.0 therapist teams per million population, these states share a number of key features that demonstrate that direct and purposeful state action is behind the expansion of these programs. Some of these features include structured involvement of all key stakeholders, effective leaders who championed not just the programs but a culture of using research to improve practice, pilot testing of new EBPs, special funding for designated EBPs, and technical assistance to counties to help get programs off the ground. Gaps in knowledge are identified and implications for policy are discussed.

Journal Article 2:

Citation: Pusch, N., & Holtfreter, K. (2017). Gender and risk assessment in juvenile offenders: A meta-analysis. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 45(1), 56–81.

Abstract: Although young males are still the primary perpetrators of juvenile crime, the percentage of girls experiencing criminal justice system contact has risen. To identify effective interventions and address public concerns regarding juvenile crime, scholars and practitioners have assessed recidivism risk using tools such as the Youth Level of Service (YLS) Inventory. While the appropriateness of using gender-neutral tools to assess female criminality in adult correctional populations has been debated, mixed findings regarding juvenile risk-assessment tools have not provided definitive answers. To address these concerns, separate meta-analyses were conducted for male and female juvenile offenders. Specifically, mean effect sizes were compared to determine whether predictive validity varies by sex. Results largely indicate that the YLS/Case Management Inventory (CMI) works equally well for a variety of subgroups, including recidivism type, recidivism outcome, geographical location, and sample characteristics. The implications of these findings for theory, research, and correctional policy are discussed.